It was the tweet heard 'round the world last week as a (now former) employee of a (now former) Chrysler agency sent out a tweet from the Chrysler Twitter account with the f-bomb in it. Ouch -- a one off that has caused a lot of drama.
He claims that he thought he was sending it from his personal account and in fact he did delete it very quickly. The company also sent out an apology, nicely done. But cyber-space moves fast and within moments it was retweeted enough to do the damage.
With tweet decks and multiple accounts that many community managers operate, it's very believable that he did indeed think he was using his personal account. He most likely really thought that -- can't blame him for that. But we need to learn two lessons from this:
1 - Cyber-space creates a permanent record of everything we do and say. What may take a nano-second to put out there, stays out there for eternity. We all have to be very careful about what we say and do. And as I tell my team and my kids, don't ever send anything out there when you are mad.
2 - Every action you take creates your personal brand. Every email, Facebook posting, and tweet all adds up to how people perceive you, particularly people who only know you online. Your personal brand, both at work and at play, has to be managed very carefully if you want to achieve your goals. One bad decision can derail you, as I am sure that this gentleman from Detroit learned.
All this social media "stuff" is certainly fun and it can certainly build brands, but we have to recognize its power and use it all very carefully.
You are what you tweet, evidently.
What's your experience? Jim.